The Valles Caldera National Preserve is an 89,000-acre working ranch “nestled inside a volcanic caldera.” It’s located about two hours north of Albuquerque, via picturesque Jemez Springs. This past weekend, on our second visit to VCNP, my friend Don and I were surprised to discover a cattle roundup (or gathering) in progress. The cattle that graze on the VCNP belong to the Jemez Pueblo and the University of New Mexico.
The weather that day was sunny, mild, and breezy: perfect for getting up close and personal with some cows, horses, and real cowboys to take a few photos.
We are lunch inside the car, which was parked next to the cattle pens, so we got an earful of the cows’ complaints about the situation. Can’t say I blame them.
My favorite part of this whole thing was the pure serendipity of it.